Aloha, from the Program Director

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Dr. Morgen Johansen
Dr. Morgen Johansen

The past few years have been challenging for us all. Our faculty and students had to quickly pivot to online at the start of COVID. Our graduating class this year started their MPAs online and are just this semester meeting each other in person. This semester’s graduation ceremonies will be in-person for the first time in two years.

We have robust numbers of incoming students each year, with over 20 new students enrolling in their MPA each year. Please continue recommending our program to your friends and co-workers as word of mouth is how we get a lot of our students. The PUBA graduate student organization, PASO, has been reactivated and busy. In April 2022, PUBA was able to send four students to the annual American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) Conference in Jacksonville, FL.

Students continue to produce outstanding capstone projects for their clients such as the Hawai’i Community Foundation, the Hawai’i Department of Education, the Institute for Human Services. Capstone topics range from stormwater management, kupuna aging in place, social and emotional learning in schools, and evaluation of annual meetings of a state-wide organization. We are always looking for new practicum sites and capstone partners and welcome recommendations.

The PUBA faculty continues to publish in the top tier of journal outlets such as the Journal for Public Administration Research and Theory, the Review of Public Personnel Administration, the American Review of Public Administration, and the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, as well as tackle emerging issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the #StopAsianHate movement. You can learn more about their research and activities.

Last summer, PUBA hosted the international Public Management Research Conference, a virtual conference that had over 350 attendees from over one dozen countries. PUBA’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report has risen to the top 88 of all graduate Public Affairs programs in the country, placing us in the top third of all MPA programs in the country.

Looking forward, we are hoping to hire a replacement for our program manager, Jaret Leong, who took a position with the College of Social Sciences Dean’s office, and Dr. David Lee, who returned to South Korea to take a position at Ewha Womans University.

Take care, and go PUBAns!